With business, family, and holiday demands competing for your attention, it’s all too easy to get flustered this time of year. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be said in the middle of a cold December, but, you must keep a cool head during the holiday season.
As is the case with all such advice, ‘keeping a cool head’ is easier said than done, particularly when those around you have heightened stress levels. With this in mind, here are five reminders that will help ease the tension in both your shoulders and those you work and live with.
Show compassion for the people you’re working with by understanding the very real and important priorities they have that may get in the way of your plans. Think of this, in a way, as relationship building – showing others that you respect them and understand that they have good reasons that make it difficult or impossible to keep up with some schedules.
Have empathy for others. Doing business during the holiday season is filled with potholes and obstacles. People seriously want to get things done, but important personal and professional obligations or commitments can get in the way of best intentions. We, as professional service providers, need to be sensitive to this and recognize that sensitivity and flexibility can turn these disruptions into positives in our business relationships.
Conscientiousness and follow-through are at the center of good business practice. Being alert to schedules and letting others know what is going on is critical during this busy time of year. Everybody is busy so keep your commitments and tighten up communications by using calendar invites as SOP. Consider looking into scheduling tools, like Calendly.com, to streamline appointments.
Go with the flow and be flexible. The chances are many of the things that you plan for will have unexpected disruptions during the holiday season. The way to survive this is to always have contingency plans prepared. Thinking ahead of the curve is a wonderful skill and is especially useful during the holiday season. Giving clients room and understanding what they are going through is the professional way and will lead to stronger relationships.
Reach out and help others. Even as we go with the flow this is a great time to influence the flow, reach out, offer support, share ideas, and be positive. Keep an eye out for friends and associates in need or under stress. Ask what you can do to help ease their path. Doing this is a professional form of paying it forward; by helping others you change the course including your own story.
The tips above are thoughtful reminders on maintaining professional and personal relationships through one of the most hectic times of year. But you will find these notes hard to deploy if you don’t maintain the relationship you have with yourself! 2018 is at its end, so make sure you take some time where you can spare it, take a deep breath, and reflect on your successes of the year, both big and small.
Wishing you all the best for the holiday season!